We all float down here...
Pennywise the Dancing Clown is one of the most recognisable figures in modern horror, and is perhaps the most famous of all the foul demons born from Stephen King’s pen. This fearful figure has been terrorising readers since IT’s release in 1986, and was first brought to life on screen by Tim Curry’s performance in the 1990 television mini-series. Today, a new adaptation has been released in cinemas, starring Bill Skarsgard as an even more sinister-looking Pennywise.
“The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years - if it ever did end - began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.”
Like the 1990 TV adaptation, the new film will be in two parts - largely to accommodate as much of the 1166-page novel as possible. Doubtless, many sub-plots from the book will be cut in order to focus on the main story, which follows a group of children known as the Losers Club who discover that they are all being menaced by the clown. Children have been disappearing all over town, and as the deaths and disappearances continue, the Losers Club realise that the creature they have come to call ‘IT’ is not a deranged man in a clown costume, but an immortal supernatural being who must be defeated.
Last year there was a strange phenomenon across the US and Canada of reported ‘killer clown’ sightings, which grew massively in numbers and spread around the world, going viral on social media. Many refer to this event as ‘The Great Clown Panic of 2016’, with hundreds of photos taken and videos recorded. Due to the timing of this phenomenon, some now believe that this was a viral marketing tactic for the new IT film, but this has not been confirmed. In any case, it certainly reminded people just how scary clowns can be.
Some brave horror fans will have watched the new IT film at a midnight screening last night, and others - like us at Wordery HQ - will be waiting until they can watch it while the sun is still up!